Kia Croom Advocates for Her Community

By Ashley Chambers

Kia Croom

Writer Kia Croom has always been an advocate for those in need. As program director at the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP), she has helped provide services to homeless individuals and families, including emergency shelter and transitional housing, a resource center and serving meals 365 days a year. Holding a bachelors degree in journalism, a Masters of Science in Urban Studies and Masters of Public Administration (MPA) in Regional Planning and Community Development, she has also helped manage homeless services in Atlanta, Georgia establishing the first supportive housing program in the city for transgender people living with HIV/AIDS. She says she has learned that she needs a community of support, resources and funding to bring projects such as these to fruition. “It takes a regional collaboration on multiple levels-municipalities, state and federal government. There’s so many stakeholders involved,” she said. “It’s just about working with these different stakeholders to create a solution to social problems, to respond to low educational attainment in communities like Richmond.” While the need for response to social issues such as unemployment, homelessness, and re-entry is vast, funding to provide services is scarce. Sympathetic to the plight of communities in need of these services and a seasoned grant writer for the past 10 years, Croom has helped agencies raise money and educated others with her grant writing workshops. “Grant writing entails making a very succinct and compelling request for funding to support a project or service to benefit a nonprofit,” she said. “(It requires) well-thought out project-getting measureable outcomes, tangible goals and objectives, and a request that can demonstrate some degree of impact. Its more than just putting words on paper, there’s a story to be told,” Croom said. In Croom’s upcoming spring series, “Show Me the Money Grant Writing Workshop,” nonprofits and individuals seeking more information can learn how to effectively raise money to support their projects, she says. “I see the saddest possible cases you could imagine every single day,” Croom said. “If it weren’t for the GRIP’s of society, there would be a lot of people in even more turmoil because they would have nowhere to turn for help. That keeps me going.” A grant-writing workshop will take place Friday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Homewood Suites Hilton hotel at 1103 Embarcadero in Oakland. For more information or to register, contact (510) 698-2728 or info@getmygrants.com

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